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Free Syrian Army in Tanf Changes its Leaders

Farid al-Qasim, who had previously faced allegations of misconduct, is relieved of his duties with Salem Turki al-Antari assuming command, according to pro-government Athr Press
Free Syrian Army in Tanf Changes its Leaders

The US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) operating in the al-Tanf region of southern Syria has announced a significant change in its leadership, with Farid al-Qasim being relieved of his duties and Salem Turki al-Antari assuming command.

The faction made this announcement on its official account on the X platform, stating, “Today, the Free Syrian Army underwent a change in command and welcomed its new leader,” while withholding details regarding Qasim’s current status.

Qasim had previously faced allegations of misconduct. In May, reports surfaced accusing him and his brother, Tariq, of misappropriating funds provided by Abdul Aziz Abu Turki, a native of al-Qaryatayn in the eastern countryside of Homs and a resident of Saudi Arabia. The funds allegedly embezzled amounted to $86,000.

Tensions and disagreements within the faction had escalated since al-Qasim assumed leadership of the FSA on September 25, 2022. In March 2023, several leaders and members of the faction resigned in protest against his actions.

On October 3, 2022, the United States officially appointed Qasim as the new commander of the FSA in Tanf, southern Syria. Sources from Athr Press indicated that British forces played a significant role in Qasim’s appointment, particularly due to their interest in the Rukban camp and the Tanf area.

Sources from Athr Press also revealed that British forces, who had supported Qasim, had threatened his opponents with removal from their positions and prevented them from leaving the de-escalation zone, known as the “55 km zone,” encompassing Tanf and the Rukban camp.

The Tanf area, where the FSA operates, is situated in the 55th area on the border triangle between Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, hosting one of the most crucial US military bases in Syria.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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